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  Grounded at The Greenhouse Theater Center


The Greenhouse Theater Center
2257 N Lincoln Avenue Chicago

A hot-rod F16 fighter pilot's unexpected pregnancy ends her career in the sky. Repurposed to flying remote-controlled drones in Afghanistan from an air-conditioned trailer near Vegas, the Pilot struggles through surreal twelve-hour shifts far from the battlefield, hunting terrorists by day and being a wife and mother by night. A tour de force play for one actress, GROUNDED flies from the heights of lyricism to the shallows of workaday existence, targeting our assumptions about war, family, and the power of storytelling.

Thru - Jul 13, 2014

Thursdays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 7:30pm
Saturdays: 7:30pm
Sundays: 2:00pm

Price: $19-$49

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-404-7336

The Greenhouse Theater Center Seating Charts

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  Grounded Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Whiteside's Pilot reminds me of hot-shot pilots who gather at the desert bar in The Right Stuff: amiably cocky, charmingly aggressive, reckless as all hell. It takes a while before you notice that she's started twanging the elastic ponytail holder she keeps on her wrist, and by then you've gone too far with her to turn back."
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Tony Adler

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...None of the concerns that Brandt invokes would matter if Gwendolyn Whiteside—did I mention that our jet jockey is a woman?—and director Lisa Portes had been content to wring hands and hankies for audiences looking only for a good cry. Both, however, go above and beyond to ascertain that our heroine's long fall to the ground originates from a height sufficiently tragic to earn, first, our concentration, then our sympathy and ultimately, our contemplation of the grim psychological price exacted by wars upon those who fight them."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...Gwendolyn Whiteside nicely captures the pilot’s fear of domesticity; in a smart detail that neither Whiteside nor the script ever calls attention to, she wears a rubber band around her wrist that she snaps every time she catches herself sneering at marriage or parenthood, as if to train herself like a lab rat."
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Kris Vire

ShowBizChicago - Highly Recommended

"...People (including myself) are often skeptical of one-person shows due to the difficultly level of such performances. It's just very hard to be as interesting as a full production by yourself, but as far as Chicago theaters go you aren't going to find a stronger production. The American Blues production of "Grounded" is a fun, thought provoking and heart-wrenching story that you truly need to see. OH, and get yourself a Milky Way bar or something, they are delicious."
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Justin Allan Kimball

Theatre By Numbers - Recommended

"...A really good actress can disappear into a role so much so that you associate the character with her and don't really realize that she is not really the portrayed character. This is what Gwendolyn Whiteside accomplishes as The Pilot in "Grounded", currently playing at the Greenhouse Theater Center. For the duration of this 70-minute show (with no intermission), the American Blues Theater's Artistic Director brings to life a woman who has the cocksure attitude of an Air Force hotshot."
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Christopher Kidder-Mostrom

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...Whiteside’s narrative keeps you on course with her because, despite this sudden turn of events, she makes it all sound so credible. This is a woman in love with life, and capable of going where it takes her. And she loves the idea of having a child – a daughter."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

ChicagoCritic - Recommended

"...Let me say that Grounded is a major achievement for Gwendolyn Whiteside and the work brings up assumptions on the effects of long-distance safe warfare. Too bad Brant fizzled out as to the motivation or cause of this pilot’s mental breakdown. Grounded has enough story to be worthy."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"...This play takes up the legacy of Euripides Trojan Women and gives our violence soaked high tech 21st century war monger culture much to ponder. It is a brave kind of tragic beauty. Grounded unearths a critical conversation of our time. Part of what pulls The Pilot apart is the knowledge that all of us are under surveillance all the time, and what separates the Iraqi child that she must destroy from her own daughter is only a matter of perspective. This is the kind of theatre that will not leave you alone: you may not be able to sleep well after seeing it, and you can’t comfort yourself with the knowledge that it is “just” a story. Theater at its very best can evoke meaning in a way that no other media can, and this is truly a Very Best in Chicago theater."

Angela Allyn

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...The audience watches very intently as Whiteside, the story teller takes us into this woman’s life and opens our eyes to the assumptions that are brought to the floor by Brant under the direction of Portes. This is a beautiful production that has a somewhat surprising ending. One that you might find great for discussion."
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Alan Bresloff

The Fourth Walsh - Highly Recommended

"...A fighter pilot goes from Air Force to ‘chair force‘ in nine months. Playwright George Brandt pens the woes of war from a mother’s perspective. Gwendolyn Whiteside plays a daredevil pilot turned loving wife and mother. Whiteside leaves the war to have a baby. When she returns to active duty, her assignment takes her out of the blue sky and into an air conditioned trailer in Vegas. She hunts down terrorists by day and returns to suburb life by night. Brandt’s story gives a powerful glimpse into the disturbing and secret life of drone pilots. GROUNDED soars."
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Katy Walsh

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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